Tite insists the changes he made to the Brazil team against Peru were not to protect players for club duty as he instead used the opportunity to assess his squad.

Neymar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Arthur and all dropped to the bench, having started the 2-2 draw against Colombia, and Brazil saw their 17-match unbeaten run ended in Los Angeles.

Luis Abram scored the only goal with an 85th-minute header for Peru, by which point Neymar had been introduced as a substitute.

Tite defended his team selection, though, insisting it was important to look at some new players following the Copa America, with Vinicius Junior making his debut.

"The most important thing was the team," Tite said. "The opportunities and changes were what I understood to be best in the moment, not to protect the players on the return to their clubs.

"I made the changes thinking about the Selecao.

"After the Copa America, another stage of opportunities began. It is only natural that we would not reach the same level of performance. I like to give opportunities to play - this is fundamental."

Meanwhile, Tite followed Fagner and Marquinhos in criticising the LA Memorial Coliseum pitch, which had been used by Argentina and Chile on Thursday.

"The pitch influences performance, this can't happen," he said. "There are risks of injuries.

"There is no excuse for defeat, I don't want to say that. Do not take only part of what I am saying. The opponent had a strategy and won.

"But this cannot happen in high level football. You can't have the field in this condition."

Casemiro has told Real Madrid team-mate Vinicius Junior to start thinking about the Ballon d'Or and other major prizes after making his Brazil debut.

Vinicius made his first appearance for the Selecao in Tuesday's underwhelming 1-0 defeat to Peru, Brazil's first loss since last year's World Cup.

The 19-year-old has started 10 LaLiga matches across the past two seasons, too, and Casemiro believes he needs to be aiming high.

"Vinicius has a very good head and, in the past year, he has surprised many people with the football he played," the midfielder told reporters.

"It is not normal for a 19-year-old boy to do what he did with the Real Madrid shirt. I told him the other day that this year is a year that he has to start thinking big.

"I repeat: what he did last year was not normal. He surprised everyone and showed that he is ready to be a starter at Real Madrid.

"When you are a starting Real Madrid player, you have to think big. Think of the Ballon d'Or, FIFA's World XI. He is a great player and he has already proven it.

"Of course, he is very young, you cannot put too much pressure and weight on his back. But I think he has to start thinking big.

"It is very important for us that he is here with the national team, but we have to be calm; two years ago he was playing in the Flamengo youth team."

Fagner called on Brazil to learn from Tuesday's defeat to Peru, although both he and Marquinhos criticised the LA Memorial Coliseum pitch.

Brazil were beaten for the first time since their 2018 World Cup reverse to Belgium, ending a 17-match unbeaten run, as they lost 1-0 to a late Luis Abram goal.

But Fagner insists the South American champions never questioned the threat of their opponents, who they defeated in the Copa America final.

The right-back, who started, with Dani Alves on the bench, hoped Brazil would be able to grow from a rare loss.

"We know the strength of South American football. There is no poor team," Fagner told TV Globo. "We played a consistent game and created chances to score. We were penalised by a set-piece at the end of the game.

"We need to grow and mature as soon as possible with these types of games to improve for the World Cup qualifiers.

"These games have to make us grow as a team. We know the importance of winning, of working calmly towards victory. But we also know that defeats can happen. This has to make us grow."

Fagner added the firm pitch in Los Angeles, used to hosting American football games, "undoubtedly" contributed to the defeat, and team-mate Marquinhos concurred.

"I think it was a very close game. We came from two good games against them and good results," Marquinhos said. "We knew they would come for the result and they did what they had to do.

"The pitch didn't help much. The ball bounced a lot. We tried to force passes through the middle, but both teams misplaced a lot. We knew it was a one-goal game and they were happy from set-pieces."

Luis Abram was the hero as Peru exacted some revenge over Brazil with a 1-0 victory in a rematch of the Copa America final.

Brazil claimed their ninth Copa America title by beating Peru 3-1 in South America's showpiece tournament decider in July.

But defender Abram's 85th-minute header saw Peru past Brazil in Los Angeles on Tuesday, while condemning the Selecao to their first defeat since the 2018 World Cup.

Neymar started on the bench as Tite made four changes to his line-up that drew 2-2 against Colombia, with David Neres, Eder Militao and Allan coming in for the PSG star, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Arthur.

It was a scrappy match on a pitch that still showed the marks of American football in Los Angeles, where NFL franchise the Rams and the NCAA's USC Trojans are tenants.

While there was plenty of energy and endeavour from Peru, chances were few and far between in the first half – Edison Flores' volley in the 23rd minute the closest either team went to breaking the deadlock.

After Neres went down inside the area under a risky challenge from captain Luis Advincula amid appeals for a penalty, Flores then produced an instinctive volley to force Brazil goalkeeper Ederson into a save.

There was a nasty clash of heads between Brazil team-mates Casemiro and Neres just past the half-hour mark, but both players managed to play on.

Pedro Gallese came to Peru's rescue four minutes into the second half. Richarlison played a delightful throughball to Allan but the goalkeeper was quick off his mark to deny the Brazil midfielder his first international goal.

A drilled effort from Philippe Coutinho caused problems for Gallese just past the hour-mark before Neymar's introduction, and while the latter provided some spark, there was to be no breakthrough for Brazil.

Just as the match looked to be petering out for a draw, a delightful free-kick from Yoshimar Yotun picked out Abram, whose deft touch beat Ederson and found the back of the net.

 

What does it mean? Peru end Brazil's unbeaten run

Since losing to Belgium in the World Cup quarter-finals last year, Brazil had gone 17 matches without defeat. However, that impressive run came to a shock end in LA.

Abram opens account in style

Making his 17th appearance, Abram emerged the unlikely hero for Peru. His late header not only silenced Brazil but saw the 23-year-old celebrate his first international goal.

Neymar poised for Selecao century

After marking his first appearance back with a goal and an assist against Colombia last time out, Neymar was a second-half substitute in LA. The 27-year-old's appearance, though, was his 99th on the international stage – moving him clear of Ronaldo and Djalma Santos for seventh in the all-time Brazil standings, still well adrift of Cafu's appearance record of 142.

What's next?

Brazil will return to action in October with a friendly against Thailand in Singapore and another fixture that is yet to be determined. Peru, meanwhile, are set to take on Uruguay in a pair of friendlies next month.

Brazil head coach Tite refused to reveal whether or not he has given life advice to Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar following a turbulent off-season.

Neymar scored his first goal of the season for club or country as Brazil drew 2-2 with South American rivals Colombia in an international friendly on Friday.

His goalscoring display came after the 27-year-old forward – yet to play for PSG this season – was unable to secure a return to LaLiga champions Barcelona prior to the transfer deadline.

Neymar was the topic of conversation again as Brazil prepare to face Peru in a rematch of the Copa America final and Tite told reporters on Monday: "Whatever is good for Neymar, I will never say publicly.

"But we can do it here in the national team. In the areas that are competent to us, the 10 days we are here, we always try to create situations that are good for him and for selection.

"Not primarily for one or the other. Because I also understand that he is top three worldwide."

Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in the Copa America final in July and the two nations will meet again in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Previewing the clash, Tite said: "If I were on the side of the Peruvian national team, I would have a feeling of revenge but with loyalty.

"They don't have to beat us up but play to show that they are better. We have to play a great game, since we have been working under pressure

"The ideal would be to have friendly against European teams, but there is a calendar problem and sometimes it is incompatible."

Mireya Gray’s 26th-minute strike handed Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz their first win of the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru on Tuesday.

Premier League rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are among the candidates to win the Best FIFA Men's Coach award, while Jill Ellis heads up the Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees after she led the United States to World Cup glory.

Guardiola guided Manchester City to the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup in a glittering 2018-19 campaign that saw Klopp's Liverpool push them all the way for domestic glory.

The Reds won the Champions League for the first time in 14 years, beating Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham in the final, and the Spurs boss is also in the running for the FIFA award.

There is no place on the shortlist for Massimiliano Allegri despite the former Juventus coach having clinched his fifth consecutive Scudetto with the Bianconeri, and his successor Maurizio Sarri missed out even though he won the Europa League, reached the EFL Cup final and secured a Champions League spot with Chelsea.

Ellis, meanwhile, is up against Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman whose side the USA beat in the World Cup final. The coaches of both semi-finalists, England's Phil Neville and Sweden's Peter Gerhardsson, are also on the shortlist.

Italy's Milena Bertolini is also in contention along with Lyon's Reynald Pedros, Japan Under-20s' Futoshi Ikeda, and Arsenal's Joe Montemurro.

The Best FIFA Men's Coach nominees:

Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Didier Deschamps (France)
Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate)
Ricardo Gareca (Peru)
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Erik ten Hag (Ajax)
Tite (Brazil)

The Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees:

Milena Bertolini (Italy)
Jill Ellis (USA)
Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden)
Futoshi Ikeda (Japan U-20)
Antonia Is (Spain U-17)
Joe Montemurro (Arsenal)
Phil Neville (England)
Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Paul Riley (North Carolina Courage)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

Gabriel Jesus has apologised for his explosive reaction to his Copa America final red card for Brazil.

The Manchester City forward scored one goal and created another against Peru but, with the scoreline 2-1, he was shown a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Carlos Zambrano.

Jesus subsequently lashed out at a water bottle and the VAR cabin, while he was later pictured crying in the tunnel.

Brazil went on to win 3-1 with a late Richarlison penalty, but Jesus apologised for his actions, while maintaining he should not have been dismissed.

"I want to apologise to the people who were nearby," he said. "It was a moment of anger, right? It was a mixture of emotions and anger, from my point of view, at the red card.

"I could have hurt someone and I'm glad I didn't. I was wanting to help the team and that moment could have hurt.

"We were winning, playing a good game, and the referee makes the wrong decision. But I need to grow up, too.

"I do not want to shut people up, I do not want any of this. I am aware of my quality, my football, what brought me here today. Criticism, as well as praise, will come at all times.

"I give my maximum on the field, knowing that sometimes things take other routes but I'm happy with the tournament. From the first day in camp, everyone was happy, focused."

Thiago Silva says it is natural for Lionel Messi to be frustrated with the referee after losing, suggesting Paris Saint-Germain had similar feelings in defeat to Barcelona in 2017.

Argentina great Messi described the officiating in his side's Copa America semi-final loss to Brazil as "bulls***" and suggested his side were victims of "corruption" as he received a controversial red card in the third-place play-off with Chile, which led to a strong rebuttal from CONMEBOL who described his comments as "unacceptable" and "unfounded".

"Maybe I'm paying for what I said last time," the Barcelona star said.

Brazil defender Silva, responding to the comments, suggested Messi had benefited from such decisions in Barca's incredible 6-1 Champions League win over PSG two years ago.

"This is difficult for us to comment on," he said after Brazil's 3-1 final win over Peru. "Sometimes in defeat, we try to focus on other people.

"I think he did not say it out of spite, but we are sad because, in the game we lost 6-1 to Barcelona, he played the referee, which, in my opinion, was ridiculous.

"But we did not give a statement that the referee was in favour of Barcelona. I think you have to show respect.

"Brazil do not have five stars [from World Cup wins] at random - none of them have been stolen. It was played on the pitch."

Silva's PSG and Brazil team-mate Marquinhos added: "[Messi] is a good person, but his statements were unfortunate and we Brazilian players did not like that.

"We lost in the World Cup against Belgium and there were also refereeing errors in his favour with Barcelona. I did not hear him talk about corruption at that time."

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca also weighed in on Messi's outburst following the defeat to Brazil.

"Messi is an authoritative voice, that does not mean I agree with him," Gareca said. "I respect him a lot - not just the player but the person. He seems to be very focused.

"But apart from the opinion we have of Messi, we can agree or disagree with him.

"I like that we would know what we have to improve in South America, but that does not necessarily mean that there is corruption or that we are corrupt.

"There is more and more information from Europe, where our children and grandchildren know more and more European players, and it seems that we want to imitate them in everything.

"There are good things in Europe, but we also have good things in South American football, too. I would like to defend South American football.

"If you speak of corruption, you must have convincing evidence. Football is a game and an individual can go wrong."

Brazil coach Tite hit back at Lionel Messi, accusing the Argentina star of lacking respect with his allegations of corruption.

Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" after controversially being sent off in Argentina's win over Chile in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

In a statement, CONMEBOL dismissed the star's comments as unacceptable and unfounded.

Messi was also furious after Argentina's semi-final loss to eventual champions Brazil, feeling his team were denied two penalties.

Speaking after Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in the final on Sunday, Tite was unhappy with Messi.

"The one that I considered an extraordinary player [Messi], extraterrestrial, put it that way, he has to have a little more respect and to understand and accept when he is beaten," Tite said, via Globo Esporte.

Brazil overcame Peru after goals from Everton and Gabriel Jesus either side of Paolo Guerrero's penalty, before Richarlison sealed the win with a late spot-kick.

However, they were also reduced to 10 men in the second half when Jesus was sent off.

Tite said Brazil had also had to deal with decisions going against them, including the harsh handball call on Thiago Silva that led to Peru's equaliser from the spot.

"We were hampered in a series of games, including the World Cup, so be very careful. I'm responding directly, I'm responding to the greatness he has," he said.

"We played clean against Argentina the whole time. I want to understand this as a moment of... he was sent off unjustly. He didn't deserve it, who deserved it was [Gary] Medel, so just be careful.

"We had to go through officiating today, too. We made a legal goal against Venezuela, everyone put it that way. Today, it wasn't a penalty on Thiago, but we went on, calm, watch out, respect."

Casemiro offered a subtle response to Lionel Messi's allegations of corruption after Brazil won the Copa America on Sunday.

Messi was controversially sent off in Argentina's win over Chile in the third-place play-off on Saturday before railing against "corruption" and "a lack of respect".

In a statement, CONMEBOL dismissed the star's comments as unacceptable and unfounded.

After Brazil beat Peru 3-1 to win their ninth South American title, Casemiro tried not to be drawn on Messi's comments, but offered a brief response.

"Those who have a mouth speak what they want," the midfielder told reporters.

"It's not my turn to speak. It's a delicate issue."

Goals from Everton and Gabriel Jesus and a Richarlison penalty saw Brazil past Peru despite a second-half red card for the Manchester City forward.

The officiating has drawn plenty of criticism at the Copa America, but Casemiro was unwilling to judge the referees' performances.

"It's not for me to say if the referee did well," he said.

"We all try to do the best and we must congratulate Peru for the great Copa they did."

Dani Alves was full of praise for Tite amid speculation over the Brazil coach's future after winning the Copa America on Sunday.

Brazil claimed their first Copa title since 2007 with a 3-1 win over Peru in the final at the Maracana.

However, there have been suggestions Tite is considering moving on despite being contracted until 2022.

Alves, who was named the best player of the 2019 Copa America, lauded the impact of the 58-year-old.

"The captain of our boat is Tite," he said.

"Congratulations to us and to our people. I repeat, congratulations to our staff."

Alves added: "Playing in the Maracana is always very special. It is our house."

While Everton's opener was cancelled out by a Paolo Guerrero penalty, Gabriel Jesus' goal and Richarlison's late spot-kick gave Brazil a ninth South American title despite the Manchester City forward's red card.

Gabriel Jesus threatened to turn from hero to villain but his Brazil team-mates sealed a 3-1 win over Peru at the Maracana and a ninth Copa America title.

Tite's men beat their final opponents 5-0 during the group stage but were under pressure when Peru skipper Paolo Guerrero cancelled out Everton's opener with a 44th-minute penalty.

But Jesus, whose excellent wing play laid on Brazil's first goal, restored the advantage in first-half injury time.

That would prove to be the goal that sealed the five-time world champions' first major honour for 12 years, although a clumsy aerial challenge on Carlos Zambrano was enough to earn Jesus a second yellow card and set up a fraught finale - until substitute Richarlison dispatched a final-minute penalty to spark buoyant celebrations.

Peru began confidently before Brazil hit the front in the 15th minute.

Jesus got the jump on Miguel Trauco with a clever run before jinking around the full-back and crossing for Everton to finish gleefully on the half-volley.

Everton turned provider shortly afterwards as Philippe Coutinho shot wide from 10 yards and Roberto Firmino headed narrowly over in the 36th minute.

They were misses the Selecao would regret when referee Roberto Tobar upheld a harsh handball call against a prone Thiago Silva on review and Guerrero levelled from the spot.

Peru's joy was short-lived, however, as Zambrano's ill-timed slip allowed the razor-sharp Jesus to steal in for a cool finish.

Coutinho fizzed a curling effort fractionally wide six minutes into the second period as Brazil pushed to increase their lead.

Jesus was shown remonstrating in tears on steps inside the stadium tunnel after his fifth foul of the game strained Tobar's patience too far.

Edison Flores sent a rasping strike wide before the action became unhelpfully fractious as far as Ricardo Gareca's men were concerned.

Zambrano then erred once more, bundling Everton over, and Richarlison was on hand to land the final blow.

Marquinhos has recovered from a bout of illness to line up for Brazil against Peru as both countries name unchanged sides for the Copa America final.

Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Marquinhos revealed he was struggling with a stomach virus as he went toe-to-toe with Lionel Messi during the Selecao's 2-0 semi-final win over bitter rivals Argentina.

But he lines up alongside veteran club colleague Thiago Silva at the heart of the Brazil defence, while semi-final goalscorers Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus lead a potent attack for the hosts.

Peru were swatted aside 5-0 when they met Brazil during the group stages but will approach Sunday's match at the Maracana with renewed confidence after dispatching holders Chile 3-0 in their last-four clash.

Goals from Edison Flores, Yoshimar Yotun and Paolo Guerrero secured a first final appearance for their country since the triumphant campaign of 1975, while Brazil are looking to lift the continental crown for a ninth time.

Brazil boss Tite carefully attempted to quell speculation surrounding his future ahead of the nation's first Copa America final appearance in 12 years.

The tournament hosts face a resurgent Peru at the Maracana on Sunday with the aim of being crowned South American champions for the ninth time.

Securing victory would give Tite his first trophy in charge but local reports have indicated success might not convince him to remain in the role.

The 58-year-old is said to be considering moving on in the wake of forced changes to his staff, including the loss of assistant coach Sylvinho to Ligue 1 side Lyon.

Asked several times about the situation at his pre-match news conference, Tite referred only to the bare terms of his employment with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

"The contract is until 2022, after the World Cup," Tite said.

"That's the contract I have with CBF."

Though rumours regarding their coach's intentions linger, Brazil remain firm favourites to overcome Peru after cruising to a 5-0 victory when the teams met in the group stage.

The underdogs have significantly improved since then, with their win against Chile in the semi-final particularly impressive, and Tite insisted the previous encounter provides no clues to the outcome of the final.

"I talked after that match about the difficulties we face against Peru, and that the scoreboard was not representative of the match," he said.

"Both teams are stronger now. It will come down to who wants it more and who performs better on the pitch.

"We have to prepare ourselves for every possible situation, including conceding the first goal, and we are prepared."

Dani Alves will lead Brazil onto the pitch after replacing Neymar as captain in the lead-up to the tournament and is keen not to underestimate the size of the occasion.

"It's very special to be in a final with Brazil, to play at the Maracana in a match like this," the experienced right-back said.

"And we will give everything we have so that our goal is achieved. It will take a tremendous effort, but we are ready."

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